He Might Leave Me

I promised Colin that he would be able to watch the Canucks games while we were in Ohio. I scoffed at his whining and said “It will definitely be on ESPN. I mean, what don’t they show on ESPN?”

The Canucks game. That’s what they don’t show on ESPN. Oh, they’ll give you teasers all over the place. NBC is the worst. It’ll cover the Philly game and say “Stay tuned for the Canucks vs. Blackhawks next…..on VERSUS!”

We don’t have Versus in rural Ohio with basic cable. When we found this out, Colin took it surprisingly well.¬† He was all “Oh, no worries, it’s just game 4, win or lose doesn’t really matter.”

That was until the 7-2 loss. He was a little steamed that night. But he figured it was just a lapse in judgment, hopefully the embarrassing loss would motivate them to pull it out in game 5.

As we all know, that did not happen. I honestly wondered about how I was going to survive the rest of the trip with Colin being so upset. Should I just send him home? Find a bar that would have the game on (good luck)? Beg the Armstrongs across the street to let Colin commandeer their TV for the evening?

While they wouldn’t sacrifice their TV, the Armstongs did let me onto their wireless internet. God bless those wonderful people. So now, at the very least, he can listen to the sports radio online….or, dare I hope, find a live stream?

He has been very good about trying to not care too much about the hockey games. But after dragging him to an antique mall, a jewelry store and the world’s largest basket, I feel like Colin has earned himself some Canucks time. So hopefully we can find him some coverage, be it online radio or (dare I say it) a live stream.

Our relationship might not survive if this thing goes to game 7….


We’ve Landed

After a 3 hour drive, 6.5 hours in the air, and a 1.5 hour layover in the land of annoying hockey fans (Chicago), we have arrived in Columbus.

I kept myself busy on the first flight with a tried and true system of distractions. First, I listened to two hours of an excellent mix of Jimmy Buffett, Miranda Lambert, Elton John and Glee covers while reading book ten of the Wheel of Time series. When I tired of that, I pulled out the laptop and introduced Mom to Hot Fuzz, my favorite cop movie of all time.

She was not impressed. Maybe it was the church spire falling on that guys head? We’ll never know.

Oh wait, she just told me it was the church spire thing with the exploding brains. I knew I should have warned her.

The second flight was delayed a half hour, which is always delightful and should happen all the time. I also sincerely appreciated the lack of any air flow during the said half hour that they kept us trapped on the plane. It was just fabulous.

Luckily, the second flight was only about 45 minutes. Minus a slight moment of terror when the pilot turned the plane so hard that you actually felt the g-force, it was a pretty smooth flight.

Tomorrow we are off to Coshocton after dealing with some errands in Columbus. On our drive, we will visit this place:

Colin’s excitement cannot be understated. Did you know Colin loves baskets? Yeah, totally loves those rustic basket weaves. Really fits in with his country style and love of homestyle design. For realsies.

Or not.

I’ll keep y’all updated as much as I can. I miss you all already!

Four Days (Plus Two)

Just four days until we are off on our Ohio adventure. We will be gone for two weeks. After we get home, I’ve allotted just two days turnaround before we have to leave for Tofino. This is both good and bad.

Why this is Good:

1. It gives me little to no time to overthink or obsess about leaving.

2. Considering that our move in date for the house was May 1st, if we had left as we usually do in mid-April, we would have no place to live. Therefore, the timing of our vacation was perfect.

3. Going to Tofino straight from Ohio will hopefully help me feel sane enough to get through a summer without all of those people featured in this post.

4. The quick turnaround will leave time for only the essentials: packing and family time. No time for annual panic attack!

Why this is Bad:

1. Packing my entire life in two days? Without a doubt I will forget something.

2. It might not leave enough time to see everyone I want to before we leave.

3. Being in Ohio the two weeks before we leave might cause me to have my annual panic attack to happen there, in front of people who don’t know that this is totally normal and doesn’t mean I’m crazy.

4. Colin would probably like me to mention that I scheduled us to be in Ohio during the playoffs, despite my arguments that ESPN will be showing all the games, just like in Canada. He just wanted you all to know how he feels too.

I probably won’t be posting much while we’re in Ohio. My grandma doesn’t have the internet, and I’ll be too busy soaking up love and a steady diet of trans fats. Once we get back, we’ll be in whirlwind mode until we get to Tofino, where I’ll start giving you the (hopefully funny) day to day details of living on our own.

While I would like to say that once we’re there, we’ll be madly unpacking and stocking our house with domestic necessities, we always seem to sleep through the first day. So I won’t lie to you and tell you that I’ll be “too busy” to post those first few days, I’ll just be honest and tell you I’ll be sleeping. It has something to do with the ocean air and the mental exhaustion of moving.

Or, I’m just that lazy.

The Pre-Trip Trip, Part II

I bet you want to know more about Coshocton. I bet you got really riled up after my post about Ohio and just had to know more. Ohio can be like that. Riveting, you know?

Welcome to Coshocton!

This picture never fails to make me laugh. So many questions come up! How are the cemeteries getting here? Is everyone coming? Do the people of Ohio know that their dead people are coming to Coshocton? Because they might have strong feelings about cadavers in Coshocton (awesome move name, by the way).

This is Bob Evans. Also known as the home of all things delicious and fattening. When we come, we always get the sausage gravy and biscuits. Those babies almost turned Natalie from her vegetarianism. Colin has never had sausage gravy and biscuits, so I am expecting some kind of marriage proposal on the trip.

Just sayin.

These are the stacks of the paper mill. At least, I think its a paper mill. No one has ever given me a straight answer. All I know is that the stacks make the town smell like mozzarella. Not in an “oh my god this town stinks” way, it just seems to have its own…scent…that is neither pleasing nor displeasing. Just kind of cheesy.

The other stop on our trip is Columbus. Columbus is lovely. The shopping is really, really good and it is home to the yummiest ice cream chain, Graeters. And a pub where I discovered deep fried pickles.

I measure everything in terms of food and shopping. I find it is a fair way to assess any city, as I don’t care about anything else.

You got a nice museum? I don’t care. Great beaches? Yeah, whatever, I don’t like bathing suits. Don’t even try to tell me about your monuments, I’m not listening.

A few years ago, we went to the home opener of The Ohio State University’s football team. I had a heart attack when we walked into this place. Never in my life had I seen anything like it. There were SNIPERS around the perimeter of the stadium. And you couldn’t buy a damn beer because it was a university game. Lightweights.

Natalie is no lightweight. The funniest thing was, you could drink outside at the tailgate parties, but only if you put the beer in the college-issue red cups. As you can see, Natalie is too hardcore for that business. But you couldn’t drink in the stadium, because¬† most university kids are under 21. Even though those kids were totally just drinking out of red cups in the parking lot.

This was something that deeply upset my Canadian upbringing.

Yeah, you read that sign right. It says Hiney Gate. As in tail gate, but hiney. Haha. Butt. Hiney. I’ll stop now.

After every home game, people would go to a hotel parking lot across from the stadium. It was like a damn state fair right there. And then it gets crazy. Ladies….boobies…bras on the hotel sign…beer being thrown…

And my PARENTS took me to this place. I was horrified.

Whenever we’re in Columbus, I get a little horrified. This is because Columbus, or more specifically Ohio State University, is where my parents met. In the seventies. While in college.

I don’t need to know what went on while they were there. It was the seventies, it was college. Please, Dad, stop telling me about the time you nailed the Hari Krishna’s shoes to their front porch. Don’t tell me about when you and your friends taped a man naked to a chair in winter and put him outside the girls dorm.

Ohio is where my grandma lives, and thus is a little bit holy. So please, for the sake of my sanity, stop sullying it with tales of your college escapades!

“Hey Alex, did I ever tell you about the time we loaded up a guys convertible with dirt because he stole our parking space?”

Pray for me.

Goals For The Summer

My goals are not inspirational. There will be no soul-searching this summer. I will not be Eat-Pray-Loving it in Tofino. These goals are not about finding myself or even really bettering myself. I just want to live my life in a kick ass way, so someday my kids won’t look at me and say “Wow Mom. Boring life, much?”. It’s my worst fear.

So, without further ado, my goals for the summer:

1. Overcome my fear of dark water.

I will achieve this by having my boss Chrissy stuff me in a scuba suit and hold me under water until I calm-the-hell-down.

2. Take part in Tofino festivals even when I’m too damn tired.

I will achieve this by signing up to volunteer at nearly every event over the summer. I think there are six. I am going to hate myself by the end of May.

3. Kayak More.

I will achieve this by….kayaking more….? I did it for the first time last summer and shockingly, did not have the anticipated panic attack. In fact, I loved it.

4. Lose 20 pounds.

I will achieve this by a suicidal combination of P90X and LuluLemon workout gear. And I will eat at Sobo a lot less.

5. Learn to crochet.

I will achieve this by annoying my Grandma to teach me incessantly during our trip to Ohio, and then bullshitting my way through it in Tofino. Will it work or will she stab me with a knitting needle? Stay tuned!

6. Entertain you until you pee your pants. Just once is all I need.

This won’t be hard. The tourist jokes write themselves.


Summer Recipes

Having our own kitchen this summer is going to be a joy. I don’t usually get a chance to cook that much when we’re in Tofino, because Colin’s stepmother is such a great cook and I don’t want to invade her kitchen too much. Every now and then I would throw something together, but for the most part I just sat back and ate. It was glorious.

But this summer, I’m going to be cooking a lot more. And for more people, since there will be five of us in the house. Because of this, I’ve been combing food blogs and cooking websites for easy and yummy recipes. Here are some of the recipes I’m most excited to try out:

Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork by The Pioneer Woman. I love Dr. Pepper. I love pork. I think I will love this.

Lemon Roasted Chicken with Arugula Salad and Dilled Orzo by Martha Stewart. This looks so delicious and perfect for rainy day dinners in Tofino.

Burgundy Mushrooms also by The Pioneer Woman. I have been eying these up for a long time, but the nine hour cook time has kept me away. I am committing myself to make these this summer, because I think I need them in my life.

Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova by Nigella Lawson. Pavolvas are my favorite dessert, hands down. They are easy and they combine the texture of marshmallow with whipped cream and crunchy meringue. Adding chocolate and raspberries? I die.

Popcorn Fudge by Raspberri Cupcakes. Ambitious, right? But I must make this, and then hand it out to everyone I know so that I don’t devour it. Popcorn is my one weakness.

Chicken Fried Steak by The Pioneer Woman (I have a crush on her). If you have never eaten chicken fried steak, you are missing out on a southern classic. I have never made it myself, but I hope to conquer it this summer. And there is no one I trust more for a southern recipe than a nice lady from Oklahoma.

Now I need to go eat something before I start gnawing on my computer screen. The popcorn fudge is calling my name.

My Favorite Things: Sea Lions

Last summer, I had a revelation.

It happened on a whale watching trip. On the way out to the whales, we stopped at a cluster of rocks that sea lions seem to love. I had only seen sea lions up close at the Vancouver Aquarium, and for some reason they never seemed that great. I think it was the smell of their tank. Memorable, that smell is.

Well, this time their smell seemed to blend in with the everyday ocean smell that I’m used to in Tofino, so it didn’t seem that bad at all. As we pulled up, they all looked at us, some kind of curious, most just totally not caring.

It was that moment that I fell in love.

If I am reincarnated, please let me be a sea lion. They are the coolest animals on this planet.

First of all, they are fat. Fat, chunky, blubbery, and covered in rolls.

They are lazy. They sleep in the sun on hot rocks. All day!

They are loud. And when they bark, it kind of sounds like my singing (at least that’s what Colin says).

They surf. A few times Colin and I have been out at Long Beach in the evening, sea lions have popped their pretty heads out of the water – one time as close as 6 feet away – to check us out. There are a few pictures around town where you can see them riding the waves, it looks a lot like how we body surf.

You do have to be a little careful around them because they are really curious and very playful. They like to pop up and say hello, but they also like to play. And for them, when they play, they nip each other. Me? I don’t see that as playing, but to each his own. Some of the local surfers (the real hardcores who have been around since the 60’s and 70’s) have a collection of bite marks from sea lions who got a little too friendly.

Not to say you should be afraid of them. As far as most animals go, they mind their own business and rarely do they get too agitated. Like me, they find it difficult to work up the energy for more than just a solid bite when you want to put someone in their place.

Some of you night say, “but what about the sea otters?”. They are cute, yes. Adorable, even. But sea otters are the epitome of EVIL.

I will not go into the things sea otters do to each other, but they include face biting, baby stealing and drowning. And that’s just the normal stuff! Someday I will have Colin come on here and write a post about the various evils of sea otters. As a kayak guide, Colin learned to fear and harbor a strong dislike for the little sea rats.

Lesson to be learned: love those who are fat, loud and happy, and fear anything deceptively cute. It is probably the devil incarnate. 

Next Week: Why baby black bears make me want to have children!